It’s been a crazy month, to say the least. While I’d hoped for crisp fall evenings that I’d spend making the first slow-cooked recipes of the season, it has instead been very busy with my “To Do” list seeming like it’ll never stop growing. It’s times like these that I go simple and quick in the kitchen, but never at the expense of flavor. Just because things are speedy doesn’t mean they should lack flavor, and I turn to high-heat cooking methods like stir frying, sautéing, broiling, and roasting to ensure that doesn’t happen. These sweet-savory quick-roasted grapes fit the bill perfectly.
Grapes never made it into my oven until I learned how to make schiacchiata con’uva. During harvest time in Italy, the extra grapes are made into a slightly sweet flatbread that I like to top with a shot of grappa. The only problem is that recipe requires time and patience — both of which are in short supply for me at the moment.
So, I’ve pared it down and started quick-roasting the grapes, which intensifies their flavor and makes them go from ho-hum snack to flavorful accompaniment. They’re super versatile and can be served in numerous ways. Here are a few places I use them: as part of a cheese plate (try it with blue or aged Gouda), used to top a simple fall salad, as an impromptu condiment for a roast, or roasted until collapsed and then spooned over ice cream as a simple dessert. So, here’s the recipe, which is so simple you’ll have it memorized after making it once. The trick is to exercise more restraint than I do and try not to eat them all straight from the oven.
Sweet-Tart Quick-Roasted Grapes Recipe
Makes: 4 to 8 servings
1 pound red grapes
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh marjoram, thyme, or oregano leaves, plus more for garnish
Aged balsamic or sherry vinegar, for garnish
Sea salt, for garnish
Heat oven to 375°F and arrange rack in the middle.
Combine grapes, oil, and herbs on a rimmed baking sheet and gently toss to combine. (Toss with a few spoonfuls of sugar or honey and skip the herbs and pepper if serving as part of a sundae.)
Roast in oven until just starting to collapse and split, about 15 minutes.
As desired, drizzle with vinegar, a pinch of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper and serve.